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Ethics Committee Reviews of Applications for Research Studies at 1 Hospital in China During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Epidemic

Educational Objective
Review the impact of Coronavirus on research study proposal standards
1 Credit CME

Since December 2019, an epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.1 As of March 7, there were 1272 confirmed coronavirus cases in Henan Province (the third-highest in China), which adjoins Hubei Province. Due to the high contagiousness of COVID-19 and the current lack of any effective vaccine or drug, scientists and physicians are conducting a series of clinical studies involving affected patients. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) published “Guidance for Managing Ethical Issues in Infectious Disease”2 to ensure the scientific validity of and participants’ rights and safety in studies conducted during outbreaks. The guidance stated that there is a moral obligation to conduct timely scientific research. The Ethics Committee of the Henan Provincial People’s Hospital reviewed the COVID-19 studies from the hospital based on those guidelines.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Yuming Wang, MD, PhD, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital and the People’s Hospital of Zhengzhou University, No. 7, Weiwu Rd, Zhengzhou 450003, Henan, China (henanyuming@sina.com).

Published Online: March 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4362

Author Contributions: Dr Wang and Ms Zhang had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Shao, Gu, Li, Wang.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Zhang, Wang.

Drafting of the manuscript: Zhang, Wang.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Shao, Gu, Li, Wang.

Statistical analysis: Zhang, Wang.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Shao, Gu, Li, Wang.

Supervision: Shao, Gu, Wang.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Paules  CI , Marston  HD , Fauci  AS .  Coronavirus infections-more than just the common cold.  Published online January 23, 2020.  JAMA. Published online January 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0757PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Guidance for managing ethical issues in infectious disease. World Health Organization website. Published October 27, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2020. https://www.who.int/tdr/news/2016/ethical-issues-in-inf-dis-outbreaks/en/
3.
Schopper  D , Ravinetto  R , Schwartz  L ,  et al.  Research ethics governance in times of ebola.   Public Health Ethics. 2017;10(1):49-61. doi:10.1093/phe/phw039PubMedGoogle Scholar
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